Tuesday, December 3, 2013

L is for Laid

Get your mind out of the gutter.  

I got laid off in April.  They seem to have moved our jobs back to Malaysia.  Or maybe it was just that the job became so hateful to me that my numbers slipped.  Not really sure.  Maybe a combination of both?

I've been on unemployment for the first time in my entire life.  I get a little less than half of what I was making at that job. 

For those that don't know, I used to work from home doing customer support for Xbox.  I hated it so very much.  Those customers take lack of personal responsibility to a fucking art form.  They'd get all bunched up about stuff, and all I could ever think was, "It's a GAME, people.  Calm down."

Don't get me wrong, there were lots of nice, fun people that I dealt with, but they weren't as plentiful as the tools.

And then there was the job itself.  They seemed to think we should have no life outside the job, so they would throw all these extra trainings at us on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis.  A lot of them were repeats of things we'd already done.  Such a colossal waste of time.

I had 15 managers (TL's or team leaders or whatever we're calling them this week) in the 2 1/2 years I worked there.  I may have had more; I believe I stopped counting around 15.

We had this chat room where we could ask questions we couldn't find on our own in the system they gave us.  (When I say, "they", I mean the company Xbox hired that hired all of us.)  They'd have 2 or 3 people trying to answer questions for about 200 plus people at once.  So we'd ask a question and sit there for 15 minutes or more, like an asshole, while the customer would get increasingly upset about the wait.  And they wanted us to make small talk ("establish rapport") while we all sat there looking stupid.  Sometimes, you'd get a customer that was OK with that.  Lots of times, the customer is already frustrated and/or mad when they call, so that wait would only exacerbate the situation.

Then there was the illustrious VKB.  VKB is a series of articles we could look up in our system that would tell us what to do.  We use VKB when the "strings" of solutions we usually use were of no use to the situation at hand.  Thing is, half the VKB articles were EMPTY.  They'd say, "This VKB is pending."  Like the Family Pack.  FP was created after my first year there.  So a year and a half later, when I was let go, those FP VKBs were STILL "pending".  Awesome.

Also, you'd sit there waiting for an answer in the chat room and, often as not, the answer you'd get would be, "Check VKB."  Well, no shit.  Already did that, that's why I'm here.  GAH!

The only other thing that would boggle me more was this:
If the customer sees an error code, why the HELL can't they make a VKB that tells us WHAT that error code is and how to solve it??

Anyway, don't have to worry about that mess and nonsense anymore.

No job for me, then.

Bad news for me.

On the plus side, I've now made school my job.  I've been doing the homework challenge - that's 15 hours a week outside of school.  Fifteen extra hours practicing on my machine outside the twenty hours a week I'm in school.  This pushed me over the top with my 140 speed.  So this quarter, I'm frustrating myself with the 160 speed.  (Again, if you're new here, that's court reporting school with the ultimate goal of captioning.  One has to reach 225 words a minute to graduate.  I've been here two years and am hoping to finish by next April.)

So good news for me?  Maybe.  Money is tight and scary, and when Dave is in his slow season this winter, I hope I can find a job!

Definitely good news for you guys.   Well, more accurately, for me and my blog here.  Because now I can post the stories I've been collecting about that job.

I was calling them Xtard of the Week, but have since realized how very unPC that is nowadays.  I'm going to call it Lamer Gamer of the Week.  And I'll be posting them here and there, should I ever finish my Alphabet Soup this year!

Here's a taste:
This first one is incredibly mild but shows the level of dumb I often had to deal with.

ME: OK, sir, what email did you use for your gamertag?

CUSTOMER: My email.

ME: [Slams head on desk] Thanks, can you tell me what that email is, please?

(Not really sure why so many customers thought we were psychic.)

As to them sending our jobs away, here's a great video that talks about that....

It always would slay me when a customer would say, "Oh, thank GOD you talk American."  After consulting my Redneck-to-English dictionary, I realized they were trying to say, "speak English."  Look, I get that the outsourced jobs may have heavy accents at times and that can be frustrating.  I've hung up on one or two in my time as well.  The thing is, why does the customer get SO mad at the accented workers, yet does nothing about it except to yell at the accented workers? 

Customer is SO angry at the accent, yet chooses to still throw hundreds and hundreds of dollars at the company that sent those jobs overseas.

Makes no sense.

Off to practice some more, Ruth!

(P.S. Obviously, this was written sometime in May - months before my previous post.)

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